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Press Release 19 December 2011

posted Dec 23, 2011, 12:48 PM by Pat Dickens   [ updated Jan 19, 2012, 3:49 PM ]

In a major victory for animal rights and welfare, Russia has now joined with the EU in banning the trade in seal skins. The market for this ghastly product is steadily shrinking and Russia, a former seal clubbing country, is no longer considered to be a savage and brutal country with a negative international reputation.

The spotlight has shifted to Namibia. We have, and will continue, to push for an end to the annual Namibian slaughter. The more protracted this debacle becomes, the more negative international exposure will be generated, affecting Namibia's economy in terms of tourist revenue generated by a well publicised international consumer boycott.

 The massacre has been shown to be illegal in terms of Namibia's own legislation. Not only does the hunt violate the Animal Protection Act of 1962, it also violates the Marine Resources Act and the Animal Health Act of 2011. The fact that the media are not allowed to film the hunt violates Section 21 (1) (a) of the Namibian Constitution as well as The Windhoek Declaration, both of which guarantee media freedom.

In September, Namibian Ombudsman Adv. John Walters convened a meeting with various stakeholders. He mentioned that it may take up to a year for him to make his ruling. In November, our organization delivered a petition with over 21 000 signatures to Adv. Walters asking him to declare a moratorium on all sealing activities. We believe that failing to do so would show that the meeting was nothing more than a stall tactic by the Namibian Government in order for them to get away with another season of illegal culling activities.

A report commissioned by the Humane Society International, WSPA and Bont Voor Dieren has shown that the Namibian seal colony is worth 300 times more alive than dead. For the Namibian Government to continue with lies and propaganda that  the slaughter generates much needed income simply highlights a statement by the World Bank that Government corruption in Namibia is a bigger problem than any form of organised crime or fraud.




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